Case Report and Clinical Technique: Argon Beam Electrosurgery for Tongue Ties and Maxillary Frenectomies in Infants and Children

  • P. J. W. VercoEmail author


Background: Paediatric dentists have been reluctant to carry out minor surgical procedures, especially involving very vascular tongues. The ExplorAr Plasma Cutting Electrode (APCE) an Australian invention, with the ConMed Argon Beam Coagulator (ABC) has replaced conventional electrosurgical techniques. Operating temperatures with APCE heat the tissue to 110°C rather than the previous 220°C using the conventional electrosurgery. Indications: APCE has been used for releasing tongue ties (partial ankyloglossia) for infants (1–4 weeks old) to enable suckling, and for older children (3–5 years old) to reduce speech pathology problems and learning difficulties in the formative years of development. All patients have been treated under general anaesthesia on a day-stay basis. Case Report: An 8 year old girl presented with a marked lingual tongue tie showing restricted movement. Using the APCE, the tongue was resected under general anaesthesia. Postoperative progress was uneventful with rapid healing. Follow-up: At a 4 month follow-up the tissue had healed completely. There was full an unimpeded movement of the tongue, and social confidence had improved. Conclusion: The availability of the ExplorAr Argon Plasma Cutting Electrode with the ConMed Argon Beam Coagulator makes it possible for a bloodless approach to the treatment of tongue ties and frenectomies with little or no post-operative pain due to the decreased power settings, lack of eschar and decreased collateral damage to adjacent tissues using a finer surgical technique.

Key words

Tongue tie electrosurgery 


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Copyright information

© European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North AdelaideAustralia

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